Despite Falling in Popularity, English Major Sees Increase in Starting Salary


English, a major that is not as popular among today's college students, is reportedly one that gives a higher amount of salary compared to other sought-after majors, a report says.

Back in the 1970's, English was one of the most desired majors among college students, reports Market Watch. According to an analysis of government data by an interactive data site Flowing Data, English was the fourth most popular field of study in 1970, falling behind Education, Social Science and History, and Business. Today, it has fallen 8 places and ranked 12th among the most popular fields among graduates.

Despite the fall in popularity, the starting salary for the major had an increase. According to a survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employees (NACE), the median salary for English majors in 2015 had an increase of 13.6% from 2014. This is in stark contrast to other majors such as biology and business that had a small increase (4.2% and 3.3% respectively), and engineering which actually saw a decrease (-1.7%).

Although specific majors in technology and engineering might give graduates an edge when it comes to technical skills required by certain fields of expertise, all businesses will always long for workers who know how to communicate well, said NACE director of research, public policy and legislative affairs Edwin Koc.

"Communication skills are still very highly valued, the question always is, the majors with the technical skills - business, engineering, computer science - do the communications skills come with them?" Koc said. "In some instances, they don't."

Certain majors allow students to acquire specific skills that can be used in various industries, such as those in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. However, other fields such as marketing will always value English or other liberal arts majors for the skills that are necessary for the jobs they have.

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